Subject: Re: proposal: NetBSD system buyer's directory
To: S.P.Zeidler <>
From: Andrew Brown <>
List: current-users
Date: 09/26/1997 11:00:35
> From: S.P.Zeidler
>> From: Andrew Brown
>>pure software does something like this.  after you used it a few times
>>(i think it was ten) it sent mail back to the user saying something
>>along the lines of "you've been using the software for a little while,
>>mind telling us what you think of it?"
>I had a shareware eval X server do this .. it was reason to make very sure
>that all of that software was wiped off disk, and then change every 
>password we had.

the difference here is that the mail was sent to the user, and only to
the user.  sure, it could have sent it straight out, and sure, it
could have had something embedded in the install program that root
used to install it that snarfed the password file and sent it back to
the parent company, but that's the kind of risk you run when you do

when i write software for money, i put pseudo-licencing in it that
deactivates it if the bill isn't paid, or disallows duplication beyond
the original agreement.  am i wrong?

all we're discussing is a friendly, albeit somewhat more active,
message that says "hey!  would you mind telling us you're using netbsd
and what you're using it on (or even for if we wanna go that far)".
i'd have to say almost all the software i've installed lately asks you
to do some kind of registration right away, offers to let you do it
later if you want, and some even offer to dial up and deliver the
registration on line for you.  have you stopped using software since

>It's one thing if your Tetris tries to send mail without asking you first,
>and quite another if your OS does. And even with the Tetris I'd probably
>suspect it of being a Trojan, and go pretty ballistic.

let me guess: when you installed win95 and it asked for your name and
company, that was when you decided to switch to netbsd?  :)

wow...this has turned into quite a rant...  :-\

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